Let’s continue our look back on the season that was by ranking the top 20 Miami Dolphins of the 2013 campaign. The newest addition to the list can be seen below.
No. 20: Rishard Matthews, wide receiver
No. 19: Brandon Gibson, wide receiver
No. 18: Dimitri Patterson, cornerback
Passes defensed: 6
Pro Football Focus breakdown
Position rank: 31 of 199
Coverage rank: 18 of 199
Snaps played: 241
Receptions allowed: 18 on 31 targets
Yards allowed: 219
Touchdowns allowed: 1
QB rating allowed: 51.1
Why he’s No. 18
Despite only playing in six games, Patterson was remarkably productive. He intercepted or defensed a combined 10 passes while only allowing 18 catches in his coverage area. That is an impressive ratio to say the least. Of those cornerbacks who played at least 100 snaps, the 51.1 quarterback rating opposing passers managed when targeting Patterson in coverage was the third lowest in the entire NFL. Not only was he a ball-hawk in limited action, but he also routinely blanketed his assignment with unshakable coverage. Patterson proved to be a versatile addition to Miami’s secondary as well, covering the boundary on early downs and moving inside to cover the slot on obvious passing ones. It’s truly a shame he couldn’t stay healthy or his pairing with Brent Grimes could have been the formula for the league’s top cornerback duo.
Why he’s not higher
It’s fairly obvious why Patterson isn’t higher on our list. A groin injury that he just couldn’t recover from prevented him from playing in 10 games and eventually landed him on injured reserve. Of course, there’s no way of knowing if Patterson could have maintained his superb play for the duration of a 16-game season, but it was obvious how much he was missed down the stretch as Nolan Carroll was victimized for a combined 173 yards during the Dolphins’ final two losses. Patterson remains under contract with Miami in 2014, but he is owed $5.3 million.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.